The abundance of yoga studios is a sure sign that everyone has fallen in love with the benefits of this physical, mental and spiritual discipline. Whether you are looking to tone up your figure, prepare your body for childbirth or relax after a day at work, yoga can benefit anyone and everyone. There are so many different styles of yoga available in Melbourne and the terminology can be a little bit confusing and daunting for beginners, so Couturing have picked their top five, to help you decide which one might be right for you. QUICK TIP! Yoga can be quite intense especially for a newbie, so don’t scull your morning latte before class or have lunch 20 minutes prior. Preparing your body properly for the experience will allow you to get the most out of the session. Try not to eat for an hour beforehand and drink plenty of H2O – you’re body will thank you afterwards. Hatha: If you’re new to the yoga scene, then this traditional style is a great way to introduce your mind and body to the concept. The focus is on controlled breathing and clearing the mind through poses that involve meditation and relaxation techniques. Power: This style of yoga is for those who are already fit and want a little bit more than breathing and meditating when taking a yoga class. Power yoga is often called ‘gym yoga’ because it is fitness based and is more rigorous than the other styles. Vinyasa: The focus of Vinyasa yoga is to connect the breath and movement through flowing exercises. Each movement is completed on an inhalation or an exhalation and the smooth flow between each movement makes it appear to be like a slow dance. Bikram: This method of yoga is conducted in a room heated to about 40 degrees and consists of 26 stretching and strengthening postures and 2 breathing exercises. The thought of being in a 40 degree room for 90 minutes might be a little bit daunting, but it allows the body to properly warm up, assists in circulation and reduces the risk of injury, so it’s worth the extra sweat. The heat also allows the body to detoxify, which means glowing skin – bonus! Prenatal: Pregnancy can put a lot of pressure and strain on a woman’s body, so prenatal yoga is designed to ease tension from muscles and sooth the body. Some also believe that it is a way to connect emotionally to your unborn baby. Benefits of Yoga – Strength, posture, flexibility and balance improvements – Muscle tone – Energy levels increase – Sleep improvements/reduces fatigue – Mental calmness and peace – Stress reduction – More relaxed both physically and mentally – Encourages the connection of our physical, mental and spiritual selves Yoga studios are situated almost everywhere across Melbourne so you’ll most likely have a local, but here are a couple we recommend. Bikram Yoga – Prahran studio – Level 1/236 High Street and Richmond studio – Level 1/179 Bridge Road. This studio specializes in Bikram yoga so if you want to try the heated yoga experience, this is the place to go. Prices – 10 day introduction (unlimited visits for beginners) for just $19. Casual visits are $19 or you can purchase classes in advance such as 20 classes for $300. Breathe Yoga & Pilates – Melbourne CBD studio – 289 Little Collins Street. This studio offers most styles of yoga including Power, Prenatal and Beginners yoga classes. Prices – Beginners group class pass (2 weeks) $50. Casual visits are $22 or you can purchase classes in advance such as 10 classes for $195.